Lamborghini Huracan Titanico (Yonhap)
Over 5,000 “supercars,” those worth around 300 million won ($230,000), have been registered as corporate cars in South Korea, according to the National Assembly Budget Office on Sunday.
The data showed that the number of super expensive imported cars bought by corporations have quadrupled over the past six years from 1,172 to 5,075 units.
Since 2016, the number of corporate supercars have shown an average increase of 32.2 percent.
Imported cars worth between 200 and 300 million won each also have shown a remarkable annual increase of 25.3 percent from 6,617 units in 2016 to 21,609 units in March 2022.
Those worth between 100 and 200 million won showed an annual increase of 13.7 percent from 74,664 in 2016 to 146,214 units this year.
The uptick in corporate supercars indicates that corporate money could have been used for personal purposes, a lawmaker claimed.
“In the past five to six years, more and more companies have used their money for personal purposes, such as registering ultrahigh-priced imported cars under corporate names. It is necessary to review the cases of advanced foreign countries and come up with measures to improve the system,” said Rep. Chung Woo-taek of the main opposition People Power Party.
In South Korea, cars registered as corporate cars get tax benefits while in the US, for instance, tax benefits are rarely given to cars.
In order to receive tax benefits on a corporate car in the US, the company must file the vehicle’s usage record in accordance with the country’s Internal Revenue Code.
Not only in the US, but also in Germany and in the UK, corporate cars can only be used to move around working sites and business meetings to receive tax benefits.
By Hong Yoo (firstname.lastname@example.org)